New drug effective treatment for eosinophilic disease

A novel biologic agent lowered eosinophil counts and eased symptoms among patients with eosinophilic gastritis and eosinophilic gastroenteritis, according to a study presented at the ACG Annual Scientific Meeting. Further studies of AK002 are needed, said Evan Dellon, MD, MPH, FACG, director of the Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

The drug, AK002 (Allakos), is an anti-siglec-8 antibody that depletes eosinophils and inhibits mast cell activity. The study, known as the ENIGMA trial, comprised 59 patients with biopsy-confirmed eosinophilic gastritis (EG) or eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE) with moderate to severe symptoms. Researchers randomly assigned patients to receive low-dose or high-dose AK002 or placebo.

Patients in both AK002 groups had an overall mean reduction in eosinophils from baseline of 95% compared with just 10% in the placebo group (P < .0001). Compared with placebo, patients who received the drug also saw better improvement in symptom scores (P = .0012) and more were treatment responders (69% vs. 5%; P = .0008).

The study has broad-reaching implications for other eosinophilic disorders, eosinophilic esophagitis, and other allergy-based diseases.

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